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movies / August 6, 2012

I can’t do Best Film lists. Somebody recently asked me to—a former student—it was sweet of him and all—but I can’t. They’re so embarrassing.  You no sooner put down a title than you feel like an idiot—really, this is the BEST film ever made, of all films from all nations, in all genres, for all time, the very BESTEST??

Best Film lists are in the news lately because the BFI—that’s British Film Institute for those non-film-snobs among you, and thank you for your non-snobbery—has announced to the world, via its toffish publication Sight and Sound, that Citizen Kane is no longer the Best Film Ever Made. It WAS the Best Film for decades, since 1962 to be exact. But no longer!

Now it’s Vertigo, Alfred Hitchcock’s insightful mind-fuck. Citizen Kane is merely the SECOND-BEST FILM EVER MADE in what we sadly call “human history.”

So you see what I mean by how stupid all this is. I mean, Citizen Kane is an excellent first film by a newbie, no question; it’s lively, and a great catalog of the state-of-the-art 1941, because young Orson Welles wanted to do everything you COULD do in film plus a few things people said you couldn’t. But Best Film of all time? That’s just silly. It’s not even clearly the best feature film DEBUT, not when you factor in George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, and Nicholas Ray’s They Live by Night, and other brilliant firsts.

But then, no matter what damn film you put down, you’re wrong, you’re being arbitrary, you can’t possibly defend it seriously. And even so, even if you can bracket all that off for the sake of giggles and enjoyable arguments on social media (“You horse’s ass, you think _______ is the Best Film ever made????”), you have to face the fact that naming Best Films brings out the worst in everyone. It’s actively BAD for us, as human beings, and we’re a species defined by our propensity for rottenness even without provocation.

This is because when asked to name Best Films, people inevitably get nervous and sweaty and don’t want to look unejjicated, and therefore they conform themselves to despicable, desiccated high culture standards that should’ve died out decades ago, and name the usual suspects: Citizen Kane, and , and Tokyo Story, and all that other lofty art cinema stuff we force-feed you in Film History 101. (We have to do it—those films were important in their times, and highly influential and all—we ain’t lyin’—but that doesn’t mean we all have to worship them forever like holy relics.)

If you DON’T choose the usual suspects, you’re subject to an all-out attack by the conformist culture-guarding Furies. There was a Great Moment in History a while back, when the New York Times Magazine asked philosopher Stanley Cavell what work would stand the test of time and still be admired and loved a hundred years from now, and Cavell, inspired as usual, picked Groundhog Day.

The outcry in response was terrific! How DARE he choose a mere Bill Murray comedy when he could’ve said !

You’ve got to give it to Stanley Cavell, even if he does write so clausey and convoluted it gives you a migraine, he’s really onto something when it comes to film, and he’s not afraid. Stan the Man!

But most people aren’t equal to such fearless free-thinking. Just to give you an idea of a typical Best Film list, look no further than Woody Allen’s:

Bicycle Thieves (1948, dir. Vittorio De Sica)
The Seventh Seal (1957, dir. Ingmar Bergman)
Citizen Kane (1941, dir. Orson Welles
Amarcord (1973, dir. Federico Fellini
8 1/2 (1963, dir. Federico Fellini)
The 400 Blows (1959, dir. Francois Truffaut)
Rashomon (1950, dir. Akira Kurosawa)
La Grande Illusion (1937, dir. Jean Renoir)
The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie (1972, dir. Luis Bunuel)
Paths Of Glory (1957, dir. Stanley Kubrick)

My God, that’s a tragic list! Tells the whole story of Woody Allen’s misspent post- 1980 career! A man with his comedic gifts, just pissed away because he had such contempt for comedy, and never got over worshipping the high-minded art-house dramas of his younger days! Gah! He even chooses Rashomon, one of the artiest and LEAST exciting Kurosawa films of that great man’s career, but the one you always have to teach in Film History 101 because it’s epochal for reasons we won’t go into here. And Paths of Glory, similarly the dullest Stanley Kubrick film, but the one pompous types always pick because it has a strident anti-war message!

What a wonderful bunch of post-1980 films Woody Allen might have made if he’d had Charlie Chaplin’s A Dog’s Life, Buster Keaton’s The General, the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup and W.C. Fields’ It’s a Gift on his mental list instead!

Well, at least he didn’t pick John Ford’s The Searchers. Pretty much everyone picks that one because of the cinematography—which is staggering, like always in Ford films—and even more because of the racial angle—Ford finally got sensitized, sorta, by the Civil Rights movement, and started wondering whether hating Native Americans unthinkingly was a good way to go. Here it is, Spot #7 on the Sight and Sound List:

  1. Vertigo (1958, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)
  2. Citizen Kane (1941, dir. Orson Welles)
  3. Tokyo Story (1953, dir. Yasujiro Ozu)
  4. La Regle du jeu (1939, dir. Jean Renoir) – that’s Rules of the Game to you rubes who don’t speak French
  5. Sunrise (1927, dir. F.W. Murnau)
  6. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, dir. Stanley Kubrick)
  7. The Searchers (1956, dir. John Ford)
  8. Man With the Movie Camera (1929, dir. Dziga Vertov)
  9. Passion of Joan of Arc (1928, dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer)
  10. 8 ½ (1963, dir. Federico Fellini)

The Searchers isn’t even Ford’s most thoughtful film about race—that’s Sergeant Rutledge, starring the godlike Woody Strode.

Plus The Searchers is one of the most outrageously flawed Ford films, with dreadful cornpone humor that nobody ever mentions, and huge chunks of forgettable nonsense involving the romance between the appalling second-leads. Young Mr. Lincoln, Stagecoach, My Darling Clementine, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance are all better Ford films.

But note the thinking behind the Sight and Sound list. It’s still got the usual suspects, but the panel of judges wants a little bit of a spread as far as national origin, so there’s a film by a Russian, Dziga Vertov, a Dane, Carl Theodor Dreyer, a Japanese, Yasujiro Ozu, a German, F.W. Murnau, a Frenchie, Jean Renoir, a Brit, Alfred Hitchcock, and so on. They’re also looking for films representing a bigger span of decades than usual, not all clumped up in film critics’ favorite place in the world, the glory years of Europe-centered art cinema circa 1946 – 1966 (aka “Second Cinema,” as the Third Cinema radicals called it with grand scorn, intending to bypass Second Cinema like it was standing still— which it was). So we get some silent films from the ‘20s (Sunrise, Passion of Joan of Arc, Man With the Movie Camera).

Still, it’s a terrible, rote list of critically pre-approved films, seemingly generated without conscious thought.

Notice how nobody comes anywhere near present-days films? Scared to. Most don’t have the nerve to place their bets on more contemporary works, which might fall out of favor with the Judging Classes, so they hang back in safe, long-dead territory, waiting to see what “the consensus view” says is a “classic.”

Except for Quentin Tarantino, who, as always, draws uneasy praise because, whatever else he is, he ain’t afraid. Here’s his list:

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (1966, dir. Sergio Leone)
Apocalypse Now (1979, dir. Francis Ford Coppola)
The Bad News Bears (1976, dir. Michael Ritchie)
Carrie (1976, dir. Brian DePalma)
Dazed And Confused (1993, dir. Richard Linklater)
The Great Escape (1963, dir. John Sturges)
His Girl Friday (1940, dir. Howard Hawks)
Jaws (1975, dir. Steven Spielberg)
Pretty Maids All In A Row (1971, dir. Roger Vadim)
Rolling Thunder (1977, dir. John Flynn)
Sorcerer (1977, dir. William Friedkin)
Taxi Driver (1976, dir. Martin Scorsese)

See how bracing, how heart-warming that is? You don’t even have to agree with him (Dazed and Confused? hell, no!) to appreciate that here’s somebody who can ignore the usual suspects without a tremor and go right for the flagrant expression of his own sensibility. I personally have to hug myself with happiness to see The Good, the Bad & the Ugly, The Bad News Bears, His Girl Friday, and Jaws, all films that set up their own aesthetic terms and then fulfill them to perfection.

Then I want to argue vociferously about some choices , and make a mental note to see others .

These instigating effects are the only real use for Best Film lists. The feeble Sight and Sound-type ones are worthless, just repeating old snobberies generated long ago. In fact, they’re worse than useless, they’re pernicious in the way they create new generations of cowed conformists swearing they revere 8 ½ and The Searchers and, God help us, La Regle du jeu, when they don’t, when they have no feeling for those films at all, but believe they ought to have.

Lists like Tarantino’s, they’re self-portraits in itemized formats, little manifestos proclaiming who you are at a particular moment in time. And therefore—changing my mind with whiplash speed—they’re interesting, and worth doing.

But I still can’t do a Best Film list. Self-portraits, they’re scary. I keep mine hidden in the attic, like Dorian Gray.

 

 

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97 Comments

Add your own

  • 1. Tiresias  |  August 7th, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    1. The Godfather
    2. Eyes Wide Shut
    3. Three Colors: Red
    4. The Big Lebowski
    5. No Country for Old Men
    6. Office Space
    7. The Thin Red Line
    8. The Shining
    9. The Incredibles
    10. Three Times

  • 2. Colonel  |  August 7th, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Tarantino was born in 1963. Seven of the films he included were made when he was 13-16. How is including a bunch of films one saw when they were a teenager refreshing? It just further shows how adolescently minded the man is. And does anyone actually think Scorsese, Coppola, De Palma, Spielberg, Friedkin, or anyone else he named aren’t going to maintain their reputation?

    You want a good list full of a great mix of classic and contemporary work —
    Apichatpong Weerasethakul:
    “Goodbye Dragon Inn” (2003, dir. Ming-liang Tsai)
    “A Brighter Summer Day” (1991, dir. Edward Yang)
    “Rain” (1929, dir. Joris Ivens)
    “Empire” (1964, dir. Andy Warhol)
    “Valentin de la Sierras” (1971, dir. Bruce Baillie)
    “The Conversation” (1974, dir. Francis Ford Coppola)
    “Full Metal Jacket” (1987, dir. Stanley Kubrick)
    “The Eighties” (1983, dir. Chantal Akerman)
    “The General” (1926, dir. Buster Keaton)
    “Sátántangó”(1994, dir. Bela Tarr)

  • 3. Fissile  |  August 7th, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    I have to agree with Eileen, I don’t see how you could pick just 10. I’ve seen a lot of excellent movies mentioned in the comments section. I’ll add two no one has mentioned yet: Nosferatu and Bad Lieutenant

  • 4. Flatulissimo  |  August 7th, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    @45 – Yeah, I don’t get the love for Vertigo. It isn’t even Hitchcock’s best film (that would be Rear Window, for my money). But I find Hitchcock over-rated in general, and find it hard to overcome all the hokey sets and rear projection. Vertigo is a dusty museum piece, while Citizen Kane is 17 years older than Vertigo yet somehow still looks a lot fresher to my eyes.

  • 5. The Dude  |  August 7th, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    The Big Lebowski
    Blade Runner
    Alien
    Pan’s Labyrinth
    Fargo
    No Country for Old Men
    Duck Soup(thanks for reminding, Eileen)
    The Fall
    Full Metal Jacket
    Taxi Driver

    That’s my list, more or less in no particular order. I
    know I’m forgetting some, but that’s off the top of my
    head.

  • 6. Chest Rockwell  |  August 7th, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    In no order:

    Fargo
    The Godfather
    Full Metal Jacket
    Land of the Lost
    Office Space
    Blade Runner
    Tommy Boy
    The Seven Samurai
    Raising Arizona
    Rosemary’s Baby
    The Terminator
    Idiocracy
    Apocalypse Now
    Taxi Driver
    Predator

  • 7. Required  |  August 7th, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Rambo
    Rambo
    Rambo
    Borat
    Rambo

  • 8. Chest Rockwell  |  August 7th, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Appendix to above:

    Dr. Stangelove or: How I learned to stop worrying and Love the Bomb
    Das Boot (fuck yeah! saw 20 years ago and still memorable!)
    Apocolypto
    The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

  • 9. Mr. Bad  |  August 7th, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    A MOVIE LIST POST? Eileen you’re basically only their favorite human being. YOU have the wonderful Exiled.

    BTW – great job on the Adam Davidson profile – do more NPR hack Journalists while you’re at it.
    Eileen, thanks.

  • 10. gc  |  August 7th, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    @52

    You want a good list full of a great mix of classic and contemporary work —
    Apichatpong Weerasethakul:
    “Goodbye Dragon Inn” (2003, dir. Ming-liang Tsai)
    “A Brighter Summer Day” (1991, dir. Edward Yang)
    “Rain” (1929, dir. Joris Ivens)
    “Empire” (1964, dir. Andy Warhol)
    “Valentin de la Sierras” (1971, dir. Bruce )
    “The Conversation” (1974, dir. Francis Ford Coppola)
    “Full Metal Jacket” (1987, dir. Stanley Kubrick)
    “The Eighties” (1983, dir. Chantal Akerman)
    “The General” (1926, dir. Buster Keaton)
    “Sátántangó”(1994, dir. Bela Tarr)

    Yep, that’ sure is a “great mix of classic and contemporary work” right there.

    Why, you’ve got a whole THREE movies made before the 70s! (Two before the 60s!)

  • 11. Kraken  |  August 7th, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    So rude not to give your list! Here is mine…Im sure im leaving some behind…

    American history X
    Akira
    Fight Club
    The Good Thief (2002 Nick Nolte)
    Casino
    Inception
    The last boy scout(Spanish dubbing is EPIC)
    Lord of the rings
    Matrix
    Avatar

  • 12. Diablo  |  August 7th, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    I ain’t no art super star. I can’t honestly tell the differences between various high end art films and the like, but I love to take cinema.

    I agree with whoever mentioned it previously, but just listing films, with reflection of genre, style, or whatever seems silly to me. Here’s my list and please feel free to mock or comment…

    Battlefield Earth- it answers the question “What would Ed Wood do with $100 million budget”. Seriously this films blows my mind in how EVERYTHING is just wrong. From casting to the story, its HILARIOUS!!!

    Rocky Balboa- Totally sneaked up on me and I really enjoyed it. I expect to just find it ridiculous and it ended up reminding me what I loved about the original Rocky.

    Touch of Evil- Like I said before…I can’t really tell the difference between what makes films GREAT but this is my favorite Hitchcock films.

    Wicker Man (the remake)- Watch it with the rifftrax (the dudes from MST3K). Again another terrible flick that is just so damn enjoyable for its ineptitude.

    Southpark: Bigger, Longer, Uncut- I got a soft spot for musicals. I went into the film, not expecting much but I got to say, that score is pretty amazing.

    Stalker- I was just blown away by the beauty of the film and the performances. Its one of those flicks that they could never make today.

    The Longest Yard- The original. As a perfect example of everything wrong with Modern American cinema, watch the first film and then the second one.

  • 13. Barry Obama  |  August 7th, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    If you got a top ten list, you didn’t film that, someone else did.

  • 14. RobertD  |  August 7th, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    It’s kind of funny how everybody used this as an opportunity to post up their own best movie list, as if anybody gave a crock of monkey snot.

  • 15. swr  |  August 7th, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance would have been a great film except for the fact that the actors are all ridicuously old for their parts.

    Any best 10 list that doesn’t include Goodfellas deserves to be fed to the lions.

  • 16. ribbon  |  August 7th, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Sorcerer’s on Tarantino’s top 10? Must be the bridge scene.

  • 17. bulfinch  |  August 7th, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    My baker’s dozen. Whether they’re the best or not, they’re the ones I obsess on and watch again and again and again. The ones that cheer you up are probably the best films.

    Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
    Black Narcissus (1947)
    Phantom Lady (1944)
    A Fine Madness (1966)
    Naked Prey (1966)
    The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970)
    Two Lane Black Top (1971)
    Turkish Delight (1973)
    The Ski Bum (1971)
    Lonely are the Brave (1962)
    Days of Heaven (1978)
    Hombre (1967)
    The Parallax View (1974)

  • 18. DoctorB  |  August 7th, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Videodrome.

  • 19. Strangefate  |  August 7th, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    Intentionally trying to hit some films others have not already…

    Miller’s Crossing
    Death Race 2000
    Barry Lyndon
    Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
    They Live!
    Maltese Falcon
    Halloween
    Dead Man
    Unforgiven
    Westworld

    I don’t know if I’d swear to that list as The Best but those are all interesting films to me and if people can no longer stand to watch them one hundred years from now, then there’s probably something gone wrong with society. As usual.

    And I’d make a case for They Live! being one of the most ‘important’ films of its time and from John Carpenter’s already memorable career. It’ll remain one of those cult classics people ‘rediscover’ every generation because, frankly, a movie in which 1% types are revealed to be evil alien ghouls is always timely.

  • 20. Doug  |  August 8th, 2012 at 12:46 am

    Trying to deny that some of the greatest fiction filmed hasn’t occurred on television is intentionally close-minded in the year 2012.

    Breaking Bad, The Wire and Arrested Development among others easily out gun the large majority of films put on these lists.

  • 21. Derek  |  August 8th, 2012 at 1:18 am

    First, fuck all these goddamn lists in the comments. It’s so insipid, it has to be purposeful. Like some kind of complex triple-troll. Maybe there should be an Olympic event.

    Anyway, you’re my hero, Eileen. I was finding all the “news” bits I’ve been hearing and seeing about the list revision nauseating.

  • 22. Oelsen  |  August 8th, 2012 at 3:11 am

    Well… Galtic Fairie has absolutely the best list!

  • 23. John Figler  |  August 8th, 2012 at 4:37 am

    What the fuck is an aesthetic term?

  • 24. Deuce  |  August 8th, 2012 at 9:24 am

    —Little French Maid (great anal, plus Connie Peterson!)

    —Dirty Debutantes #2 (more daring than the debut, plus anal!)

    —Ikiru (no anal, but he;’ fucked)

    —Immoral Mr Teas (no anal, but Meyers went on to direct better films about bigger assholes, and this provided the moolah)

    —The ANALyst (well-shot anal, including some early rough sex)

    —2001 (no anal)

    —Deliverance (yes, anal)

    —Boogie Nights (no anal, and no reality, but some say Burt Reynolds enjoys anal ((see above))).

    —TRUMPED! (about a human anus)

  • 25. CW  |  August 8th, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Where is ‘They Live’ in all these lists?

  • 26. Gina  |  August 8th, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    In no order…

    Mulholland Dr. – David Lynch
    The Elephant Man – David Lynch
    Chinatown – Roman Polanski
    The Pianist – Roman Polanski
    Manhattan – Woody Allen
    The Hudsucker Proxy – Joel Coen
    The Hustler – Robert Rossen
    Suddenly, Last Summer – Joseph L. Mankiewicz
    Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?-Mike Nichols
    Heavenly Creatures – Peter Jackson
    Midnight Cowboy – John Schlesinger
    Being John Malkovich – Spike Jonze
    Nosferatu the Vampyre – Werner Herzog
    Annie Hall – Woody Allen
    Pulp Fiction – Quentin Tarantino
    Taxi Driver – Martin Scorsese
    The Departed – Martin Scorsese
    Apocalypse Now – Francis Ford Coppola
    The Godfather – Francis Ford Coppola

  • 27. Bought&Sold  |  August 8th, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    In No Order: Casablanca…Grapes Of Wrath…Song Of The South…Dr. Stangelove…Mr. Roberts…The Apartment…Shakesphere Wallah…Excalibur…The Godfather 1+2…Any Of The ‘Goodbye Mr. Chips’…Mr. 880…And Many More

  • 28. Jame  |  August 8th, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Agree with so many lists here (others, not so much – Scott Pilgrim? Ah hell no)

    Some more not already mentioned (I think)

    Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai
    Children of Men
    Ronin
    The Castle
    The Crow
    Once Were Warriors
    Boy

  • 29. Andragog  |  August 8th, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980)

    On the Beach (2000)

    White Heat (1949)

    Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

    Godfather (1972)

    Bladerunner (1982)

    A Boy and His Dog (1975)

    The Razor’s Edge (1984)

    The Deer Hunter (1978)

    The Long Good Friday (1980)

    These work for me.- No particular order.

  • 30. Mitchell  |  August 9th, 2012 at 1:06 am

    It Depends (1937)
    Gary Gordon (the 1976 remake)
    Awake on the Wild Side (1963)
    Luton’s Drum (1949)
    Cassandra (2009)
    A Long Time Burning (1988)
    Fei Du (2002)
    Path of Crimson II (1987)
    Dreamworld 3000 (1978)
    Icon (1991)

  • 31. Warren Bernstein  |  August 9th, 2012 at 7:47 am

    ISHTAR

    YOU’VE GOT MAIL

    WHEN HARRY MET SALLY

    HEARTBURN

    JULIE AND JULIA

    I’M STILL DEAD, SUCK ON IT!

  • 32. DJKM  |  August 9th, 2012 at 11:24 am

    @40 “Tough call whether to pick the first Police Story or the third, though. I went with 3 because Michelle Yeoh jumps a motorcycle onto a moving train.”

    Police Story 2 is the best Police Story film by a country mile. Come to think of it Jackie Chan’s best movies are his sequels:

    Drunken Master 2 (my favorite movie of all time)
    Project A 2 (narrowly beating out Project A’s astonishing Harold Lloyd rip-off with a Buster Keaton rip-off)
    Police Story 2

  • 33. Allen  |  August 10th, 2012 at 1:15 am

    Nothing but idiosyncrasy here … (I’m not looking up dates)

    Ran

    Bladerunner

    Aliens

    2001

    Barry Lyndon

    Dawn of the Dead

    No Country for Old Men

    Casino

    Dr.Strangelove

    The Shining

    Honorable mention:

    A Clockwork Orange

    Full Metal Jacket

    The Big Lebowski

    Fargo

    A Serious Man

    (Basically I like Kubrick and the Coen Bros a lot..)

    Also:

    The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

    Alien

    Robocop, Total Recall (the original), Day of the Dead, Return of the Living Dead

  • 34. The Gubbler  |  August 10th, 2012 at 8:43 am

    In case you are interested, and I realize you probably are not, the best movie ever is….

    Gone To Earth

  • 35. The Gubbler  |  August 10th, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    You all suck.

  • 36. The Gubbler  |  August 10th, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    I hesitate to recommend this film as the story is incredibly simple and you would think, easy to grasp including the end, but I fear some folks might get lost nevertheless.

    I imagine these people who cannot follow such a simple story, would probably be used to having a story which makes no sense if you think about it for more than ten seconds explained to them in the most condescending manner over the course of some crappy cliche loaded baloney-fest.

    Well you don’t get that here in….

    Eyes Of Fire

  • 37. Frederich Krueger  |  August 10th, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Who’s to argue with these?

    1 THE ANAL GIRLS OF TOBACCO ROAD
    2 LET’S PLAY STAIN THE COUCH
    3 CRACK WHORES OF AMERICA
    4 SEX STARVED FUCK SLUTS #22: STINKY WHITE WOMEN
    5 GROAN
    6 DUDE, WHERE’S MY DILDO
    7 ULTRA KINKY #79: BOWLIN’ IN HER COLON 8 ASS-HOLE O MIO
    9 BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE VAGINA
    10 BACKDOOR ADVENTURES OF BUTTHEAD AND BEAVER

  • 38. iwatchmovstoo  |  August 10th, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    I’m only going to list American cinema because I think it’s ridiculous to try and lump them in all together.

    His Girl Friday
    Casablanca
    Blade Runner
    Children of Men
    The Princess Bride
    Full Metal Jacket
    Dead Man
    They Live
    Boogie Nights
    Network
    12 Monkeys
    Goodfellas
    Peggy Sue Got Married
    Breaking Away
    A Christmas Story
    Unforgiven
    Dancer in The Dark
    Black Swan
    The Great Outdoors
    The Usual Suspects
    Before Sunset
    The Notebook
    Big Fish
    The Shawshank Redemption
    The New World
    Pumpkin

  • 39. pug  |  August 11th, 2012 at 9:46 am

    20. The Savages
    19. Play Misty for Me
    18. Moulin Rouge
    17. Scarface
    16. Good Will Hunting
    15. Shakespeare in Love
    14. Minority Report
    13. E.T.
    12. Magnificent Ambersons
    11. Gone With the Wind
    10. Gummo
    9. The Island
    8. Disney’s Beauty & the Beast
    7. American Ninja
    6. Rocky 5
    5. The Wash
    4. Cool as Ice
    3. The Last Unicorn
    2. Austin Powers
    1. Pooty Tang

  • 40. dumpster juice  |  August 11th, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    black comedy list:

    FREEWAY with Reese Witherspoon as a potty mouth badass killer teen. You won’t regret watching.

    BAD BOY BUBBY Aussie masterpiece that must be seen. I’m serious.

    KIND HEART AND CORONETS feel-good murder as only the Brits can do it. Alec Guinness plays like 6 parts.

    TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL a good time killin’ comedy that turns the tables on stereotypes.

    THE GREEN BUTCHERS Danish. You can handle subtitles. Don’t be a pussy.

  • 41. iwatchmovstoo  |  August 12th, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Cool As Ice really is a terrific, landmark film.

  • 42. Tom  |  August 13th, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Ha! Starship Troopers (of course)

  • 43. The Gubbler  |  August 16th, 2012 at 4:24 am

    No Mercy No Future

    That’s a good one.

    IDIOTS!!!

  • 44. Ole  |  August 20th, 2012 at 11:11 am

    I also get irritated by the safe choices in lists like the one by Woody Allen. However, I think it could easily become some sort of snobbery the other way too. “Look at me, I’m only choosing neglected or super mainstream films.” Look at Slavoj Zizek’s lists, it’s hard to know if you could take that seriously, an intelligent man placing “Hitman” among his top ten. But yeah, I guess it’s better than the KaneSearchersSevenSamurai lists.

  • 45. Peter Thiel  |  August 21st, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Socialist Scum: Each of these films I watch each day after taking a dump on a homeless naked boy, rimming Peter D. Schiff’s heine-hole, and buying some floating jetsam via PayPal:

    1. 8 1/2 Inches
    2. The Fountainhead
    3. Giving Head
    4. Atlas Shrugged Part I
    5. Atlas Shrugged Part II
    6. Atlas Shrugged Part III
    7. Atlas Shrugged Part IV
    8. The Anti-Socialist Network
    9. The Island
    10. Triumph of the Will

  • 46. tarko  |  October 1st, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    1) Miller’s Crossing
    2) The Apartment
    3) Road Warrior
    4) The Big Sleep
    5) Reservoir Dogs
    6) ET
    7) Raiders
    8) Godfather II
    9) Apocalypse Now
    10) Midnight Cowboy

  • 47. Darryl  |  October 14th, 2014 at 1:12 am

    Below are some of my “favorites”. I doubt a consensus will ever be reached on any list of “Bests” (with the exception of the “Best Rock and Roll Band Ever”)

    To Kill A Mockingbird
    Matewan
    Bad Day At Black Rock
    Lives Of A Bengal Lancer
    Babette’s Feast
    The Hustler
    One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
    Lawrence Of Arabia
    The Ox-Bow Incident
    Network
    The Unforgiven
    Local Hero


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